Meet The Mompreneur and a Giveaway: Heidi Doroghazi

Image courtesy of Heidi Doroghazi Photography

Editor’s Note: This post is sponsored by Heidi Doroghazi Photography.

Heidi Doroghazi is a Champaign-Urbana mom who left her job in university administration to pursue her passion — photography. She recently opened her own business, Heidi Doroghazi Photography, specializing in newborn, child and family. Today we’d like to introduce you to her and tell you a little bit about her business, and Doroghazi is offering a terrific giveaway  for chambanamoms readers!

At the end of this post, leave us a comment telling us what special moment you wish you had captured in a photograph, and you can win* a child or family session and a CD of 20 to 30 digital images suitable for printing! We’ll choose a winner at random. Entries will close at 12 a.m. CST on Monday, April 30.

You can find Heidi Doroghazi Photography on Facebook, and we encourage you to go check out the beautiful images on her website.

Let’s meet our latest Mompreneur!

Q: How did you get started in photography? Was it a hobby? What did you do before?

I have always been an artist. Before college it was drawing and painting murals. My undergraduate degree is in advertising, where I learned a lot about layout and how composition affects what people take away from a design.  Due to lack of advertising jobs in the town where we lived while my husband pursued his graduate degree, I worked in administration at the university.  Although I was able to do some design work recruiting students, it left me with a creative void. I always had an interest in photography, but it wasn’t until I started staying home with my two children that I decided to pursue photography seriously.  I was always taking photographs of them, so it was only natural for my new creative pursuit to be a part of that. It’s taken a lot of hard work and study to learn the ins and outs of photography, but I was able to build on solid art and design training.

Q: How have your kids inspired your work?

They gave me the understanding that children change so fast, but as a parent you want to capture every possible moment. That cute head tilt and smile that she does one year will change by the next, and photographs can make those memories last.  They’ve inspired me to give my clients the best photographs possible to document their lives.

Q. A career change is tough to manage. How did you get through that transition?

It has been a very gradual transition. Everyone takes snapshots, but over time, for me, those turned into photography mini-sessions. I would read about exposure and composition and image processing at night after our daughters went to bed. Then it turned into full blown practice sessions with my family on the weekend and then with friends’ families. I do most of the editing while my girls are napping or after their bedtime. Luckily, the best light for photography is in the morning or evening.  My husband has a fairly flexible work schedule, which has been extremely helpful.  He can come home early or go in late, and jumps at every chance he gets to spend more time with our kids. He has been nothing but encouraging through the whole process.

Q: Many photographers work from home; was that one of your goals or is it an added bonus?

It wasn’t a goal, strictly speaking, but it did influence the long-term timing of this. I love getting to be with my kids during the day, and I don’t think I would have launched my own business for a couple more years if I couldn’t stay home with them.

Q: Why did you decide to specialize in family photography?

There is something so special about witnessing the love between a family.  I love being a part of that.  I am able to give my clients photographs that are irreplaceable, that they will look at years from now.

Q: What makes a great family photo?

I think the most important part of a family photo is that it really captures your family. You don’t want to look back and wince at a fake smile or the cheesy background. A great family photo should capture how your family interacts, your personalities. It should trigger memories of your favorite aspects of your life today.

*No purchase necessary, winner will be notified within one week of the drawing and will be chosen at random. Giveaway ends at 12 a.m. on Monday, April 30. Sponsor is responsible for the fulfillment of this prize. Entrants who previously had a free session with Heidi Doroghazi Photography are not eligible for this drawing.

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  1. I would love to have family picture done and a session once our baby starts walking. Also a very special 1 year birthday session!

  2. I have a little guy turning one next month and we are in the process of moving to Champaign! The moment I wish we has captured is the smile when he took his first steps last week… He was so proud! I would love to win a session for his 12 mo pics!

  3. My family is new to the area and we are looking for someone to take my daughter’s 12 month pics in May. I would love a chance to win a session and to meet you!

  4. Stephanie says:

    We didn’t do our first family photo shoot until last year– when our daughter was five. I kick myself every day for not having pro photos of our little one as an infant and toddler. The time went by so fast I wish I had beautiful pictures to remember those magical times.

  5. Jenny D. says:

    My Hubby was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma on Dec. 9th of this past year. He’s currently cancer free, but his Dermatologist is watching 4 more moles on his back. Our view on life has changed since then, we don’t tend to sweat the small stuff and really appreciate each other. I would really love a family pic with us and our 2 kiddos that would symbolize our new outlook on life. :)

  6. Lori Morrissette says:

    Now that my little one is 13 months old – I think its a great time for a family photo!

  7. I wish that at our wedding five years ago we had gotten a big family picture with all the parents, siblings, and kids. But, by the time picture time got there, one nephew was asleep! For our anniversary this year, we’d really like to have another go at it (especially now that we have two more nieces in the mix!). It’s hard to get that many people together (about 16) from different sides of the family but I know it would mean a lot to my husband (and I’d love it, too!).

  8. Amanda B says:

    My youngest son turns one this summer. A photo I’d love to have is one of my two sons interacting with each other. They are really starting to enjoy playing together, and there are many times I wish I had a good photo of them doing that.

  9. We have never had a family picture taken, and I would love to have one done before my daughter gets any older. I want to capture us how we are in this moment!

  10. I’d love to have our family with our dog!

  11. Stephanie says:

    I wish I had a picture of the first time my son saw a real, live dog- he was so excited he was barking and clapping, so cute. But alas, I had to supervise the situation instead of grabbing my camera :)

  12. I would love to really capture a picture of the everyday of our family. With young ones, I know that they change so much and, yet, we keep realizing that we don’t have picture of our whole family – one of us is always taking the picture! You can’t really use a tripod and get everyone smiling for a whole family picture at this age!

  13. I would have loved to have gotten more pictures of my oldest son with me when I was pregnant with his little brother. We were so busy with our new home we barely took any.

  14. I wish we had more pictures with the whole family. We always seem to just get the kids and forget to get everyone together.

  15. Bernadette says:

    I would love a family photo taken professionally. We have some good pictures, but mostly of our daughter and not of all of us together. It’s way too easy to take a picture of her and forget to include ourselves!

  16. I would love a new family picture. We haven’t had any family pics taken with our newest little man and he is already 11 months old!

  17. I wished I had captured on a picture the first time my oldest daughter opened her arms for my youngest and the little one ran to her arms and gave her a big hug!

  18. I wish I had captured the moment my 2 year old son first discovered his shadow. We were at Meadowbrook Park and he spontaneously noticed, as he ran along, that he had a little companion. Priceless.

  19. My wife and I have an amazing 17 months old daughter and would love family photos. She took photos of friends of ours and their two kids that were amazing.

  20. I wish we had a photo of our kids with both sets of grandparents. Unfortunately, my father-in-law passed away 2 years ago, so it is too late sadly to get a photo with all of the grandparents. But we are fortunate that they still have 3 living great grandmas, and I’d love to get a photo with all 4 generations from both sides of the family. And even just a shot of our little family of 4 would be great…we never do that!!!

  21. After a long road of infertility, we are welcoming our first baby into our family and I would love to have newborn photos taken. It will be the celebration at the end of a long journey.

  22. Our curious and adventurous 17 month old has brought so much joy and love into our lives. The one thing I wish we had captured is a family photo. We only have “self portraits” and very few at that. This is partially my fault because I have felt uncomfortable in my own skin, being in front of a camera, especially while I’m still trying to shed the baby weight from over a year ago. However, recently, my husband and I were talking about how we need to move beyond those insecurities and capture these precious moments that we have been fortunate enough to have. We only live once and we only have one chance to capture those moments. Once they are gone, they are gone. Your photos are beautiful and we hope we get the chance to work with you sometime :-)

  23. I encourage all families to snap photos as much as possible. Get professional photos done every year. I wish I had done that more. My parents are both gone. I wish I’d had more photos of my mother and I before she passed when I was in high school. Even more I wish I’d had more photos of my father and my daughter together so she would have them to look back on when she’s older. I would love to have professional photos done of my entire family just spending an hour together at a park. Nothing posed or staged. Just fun. Even when you don’t have time to get a professional photo done take pictures. It’s priceless to enjoy the moment, catch them on camera, and save them as treasures.

  24. I wish I had taken a picture of our growing family at Easter time, when we were all showered and dressed up! I’d love to have pictures of our family interacting,

  25. Crystal Hults says:

    There are way to many moments that I would love to have candid shots of my kids just being themselves. I tried to keep up with the photos that parents typically get taken of their children with my first child. It got way to expensive quickly, and we just went to Sears and places like that. When my son was born my husband and I decided that we would get a nice camera and just take them ourselves…….I totally underestimated the fact that unless you have super camera crazy kids moms don’t always get very good pictures. You also have to have and artistic eye with the right backdrops and such. I would love to get a family picture that showed all of our personalities and have more of my children.